William Todd

Interview Recording


Interview Transcript

Interview Transcript Will Todd 11 Mar 2020 by Liz Chappell



One of the best-preserved early town gardens is Bona Vista on the southern outskirts of Armidale. The two-storey home in local blue brick was built in three stages between 1880 and 1911 by successive owners, Patrick Wade, J.D. Bradley and C.F. Tindal. The elaborate Victorian garden of gravel paths and terracotta edging tiles was laid out between 1883 and 1890 for J.D. Bradley, District Inspector for Schools. The layout of this garden is still intact.  The edging tiles are still mostly in place but the picket fence has gone.  Small shrubs of Photinea robusta visible in the photograph are now large trees. Subsequent owner, C.F. Tindal planted the cypress hedges around 1911 and extended the garden to its present size of around 4 acres.  These hedges have been trimmed annually through all circumstances including two world wars and changes of ownership to Hilda Dorothy Tindal and the Todd family.

Credit for the preservation of the Bona Vista garden is due to Mrs. Marjorie Todd OAM who moved there with her husband W.E.D. Todd in 1946.  She was custodian of the garden for sixty years until her death in 2006.  The garden is now in the care of their son Will who returned to live at Bona Vista in 2009. Will is treading gently in his refurbishment of the garden working with rather than eliminating Victorian era garden stalwarts: ivy, periwinkle and honeysuckle.  He has planted hundreds of bulbs and reintroduced old-fashioned perennials he remembers from his childhood.